Beatles Song Countdown: 10-6

10: I’m Looking Through You

Album: Rubber Soul
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: Similar to Run For Your Life in that it’s about the angry devolution of one of the singer’s relationships, only without the violence and misogyny. Also, it’s got Paul’s amazing voice (have I mentioned that before?). I might be the only person who loves this song this much. The rhymes are simplistic, the rhythm generic. It’s just his voice. And I like the ending where instead of the usual decrescendo, Paul just keeps amping it up through the fade-out. 

9: Golden Slumbers

Album: Abbey Road
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: Borrows lines from “The Cradle Song,” a lullaby written in 1603. When my son was a baby I sang this to him all the time to get him to sleep.

8. Eleanor Rigby

Album: Revolver
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: I feel bad ranking this as low as #8. It’s a great poem about isolation and Paul does it justice by backing it with appropriately somber music. It starts out depressing, then gets more depressing and ends with profound emptiness. I think I wish the tempo was slower. It’s just slightly too fast to fit the mood.

7. Oh! Darling

Album: Abbey Road
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: Now this is a power ballad. I heard Paul try to sing it a few years ago and it was painful. Definitely for a young man’s voice box. Lyrically nothing special, just a vocal showcase.

6: Something

Album: Abbey Road
Writer: Harrison
Singer: Harrison

Verdict: One of at least 10 love songs written about Pattie Boyd, including Layla, Wonderful Tonight, and a bunch of others from Harrison, Clapton, and Ronnie Wood. Some have called it the best love song ever. I’ve never tried to make such a ranking, but I imagine it would be near the top of my list, too. Not sure I have anything to say that hasn’t been written before. Very pleasant, very earnest.

One thought on “Beatles Song Countdown: 10-6”

  1. The main benefit of listening to these right now is that I don’t have to pay nearly as much attention to the Twins game!

    “I’m Looking Through You” is pretty good for a generic pop piece. Sounds super backhanded, I know, but I really mean that as praise.

    “Golden Slumbers” is great, of course (although, 1:28?! That’s criminally short for such an engaging ballad). And I’m sure I’ve endlessly talked about my love for “Eleanor Rigby,” probably my #2 or 3.

    I placed “Oh! Darling” about two seconds before it played. I don’t know if I’ve heard this more than a handful of times ever, but it sticks. I normally don’t care about a simple vocal showcase, but there’s nothing wrong with this.

    “Something” is nice enough (I knew them all pretty well this time, with the exception of the first). I feel like I need to read a book about Pattie Boyd, this woman who commanded so much damned attention that you could make a full-length album of songs about her by several artists.

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